MCALLEN–A federal grand jury indicts a Monterrey woman for bringing more than $250,000 in cash across the border in the Rio Grande Valley without declaring it.
Jeanette Irazema Barraza-Galindo, 33, of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, has been indicted on charges of bulk cash smuggling, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
The indictment is the result of the discovery and seizure of $277,556 on March 1 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers aboard a bus heading outbound through the Hidalgo Port of Entry into Mexico.
All passengers gave negative declaration for monetary instruments in excess of $10,000, firearms and ammunition.
According to the allegations in a criminal complaint filed on March 2, CBP officers discovered U.S. currency totally $277,556 in throw pillows and two bags containing stuffed toy animals.
Barraza-Galindo was identified as the owner of the throw pillow and stuffed toys and subsequently arrested by CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents.
Barraza has been in federal custody without bond pending further criminal proceedings since March 2, following the issuance of an order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby. She will be arraigned on the charges on a date in the near future to be set by the court.
Bulk cash smuggling carries, upon conviction, a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to three years. She’ll also have to forfeit the money she was smuggling to the U.S. government.
–South Texas Tribune, firstname.lastname@example.org
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